Vote for the News & Observer high school athlete of the week (10.2.21)

·5 min read

Here are the candidates for the News & Observer high school athlete of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they want until Saturday, around noon, will the poll will close and a winner will be named.

Kiera Bartholomew, North Raleigh Christian Golf: The Knights’ junior shot a school-record 5-under par 67 to help her team to victory over Ravenscroft at Heritage Golf Club Sept. 20.

Bartholomew was 4 under with four birdies on the front nine, while going 1-under with two birdies on the back nine in her round.

North Raleigh Christian also had a historic round as a team, firing a six-over par 222, to set a new 18-hole school record.

Bartholomew also shot an even par 35 to earn medalist honors while leading her team to victory over Cary Academy at Wakefield Plantation Sept. 23.

Kelsey Blake, Falls Lake Academy Volleyball: The Firebirds’ junior outside hitter/setter had 15 assists this week as Falls Lake Academy split games with East Wake Academy and N.C. School of Science and Math.

Blake had seven assists, a block and a kill in a 3-2 loss at N.C. School of Science and Math Sept. 21.

Two days later, she had eight kills and three digs in a 3-0 victory at East Wake Academy.

Falls Lake Academy is 9-4 through Sunday.

Riley Buckley, North Raleigh Christian Volleyball: The Knights’ senior had 73 assists, 34 kills and 33 digs as North Raleigh Christian beat Durham Academy, St. Mary’s and Wake Christian.

Buckley had 27 assists, seven kills, 13 digs and two blocks in 3-0 win over Durham Academy Sept. 20.

The next day, she added 26 assists, 14 digs and 11 kills in 3-0 sweep of Wake Christian.

Buckley finished off her week with 20 assists, 16 kills and six digs in a 3-0 victory at St. Mary’s Sept. 23.

Buckley, a University of Missouri commit, has 411 assists, 146 digs, 137 kills and 17 aces for a North Raleigh Christian team (18-2) that has won 11 straight games.

Dylan Core, Broughton Cross Country: The Capitals’ junior ran a 16:28.19 to win the race individually in five-team match with Green Hope, Holly Springs, Panther Creek and Sanderson and WakeMed Complex in Cary Sept. 23.

Core’s effort also helped his Broughton boys’ cross country team to a runner-up finish.

Omarion Hampton, Cleveland Football: The 6-foot-1 221-pound senior running back had 292 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries to lead Cleveland to a 58-18 win over South Garner Sept. 24.

Hampton, a University of North Carolina commit, has 756 yards and 16 touchdowns on 46 carries (16.4 yards per carry) for Cleveland (5-0) this season.

Halla Ishak, Friendship Christian Cross Country: The Friendship Christian freshman ran a 23:11 to win individually in a meet against Wake Christian Academy Sept. 23.

Tate Jones, Middle Creek Football: The 6-foot-2, 215-pound running back rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to lead Middle Creek to a 37-20 win at Green Level Sept. 24.

Jones has rushed for 470 yards and six touchdowns on 85 carries for Middle Creek (3-2) this season.

Taylor Ann Knott, Chapel Hill Volleyball: The Tigers’ senior outside hitter had 29 kills, 11 digs and four blocks to lead Chapel Hill to wins over Jordan and Southern Alamance.

Knott had 12 kills and three digs in a 3-0 win at Southern Alamance Sept. 21.

She also had 17 kills, eight digs and three blocks in a 3-1 win over Jordan Sept. 23.

Knott had 90 kills, 46 digs and 10 blocks for a Chapel Hill squad (12-1) that has won 10 straight games.

Sidney Malek, Cardinal Gibbons Tennis: The Crusaders’ senior won both her singles and doubles’ matches to help Cardinal Gibbons to a 9-0 win over Sanderson Sept. 23.

Malek won at No. 6 singles, 6-0, 6-1, while teaming with classmate, Christina Bricker, to win 8-3 in doubles as Cardinal Gibbons blanked Sanderson.

Malke is 14-0 in singles and 11-1 in doubles’ play for Cardinal Gibbons (14-1).

Sarah Mitchell, Apex Cross Country: The Cougars’ senior ran an 18:23.66 to win the South Wake Athletic 4A Conference meet in dominant fashion by a margin of 2:19 over the runner-up at WakeMed Complex in Cary Sept. 22.

Mitchell also led the Apex girls’ cross country team to victory at the same meet.

Jacob Tremblay, Neuse Charter Soccer: The Cougars’ senior midfielder scored his first two goals of the season to help Neuse Charter to a 5-1 win over North Duplin, Sept. 20.

Neuse Charter is 5-4-1 through Sunday.

Brock Wills, Holly Springs Football: The 6-foot, 165-pound senior quarterback completed 11-of-17 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 66 yards and another score to lead the Golden Hawks to a 42-35 win at Apex Friendship Sept. 24.

Wills is 65-of-111 passing for 880 yards and eight touchdowns for Holly Springs (2-3) this season.

** Information published today includes statistics through Sept. 25.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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